Diageo CMO awarded CBE in New Year Honours List

Syl Saller, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Diageo plc, is to be awarded a CBE in the New Year 2020 Honours List, for services to business and equality in the workplace.

Throughout a twenty-year career at Diageo, Saller has consistently developed brand strategies to fuel growth and business performance. In 2013, Saller was appointed Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer and as a member of Diageo’s global executive committee, Saller has successfully led global marketing and innovation strategy through a period of significant transformation for the company.

In her industry roles: as President of the Marketing Society; board member for the Women’s Prize for Fiction; Trustee of the Marketing Academy; and member of the executive board of the World Federation of Advertisers, Saller has become a leading voice to drive change and enable greater diversity within the creative industries.

Most recently, Saller has been a catalyst behind Diageo’s support of the Creative Equals ‘Creative Comeback’ program to support women returning to the creative industries following a career break, as well as work with the UN Women convened Unstereotype Alliance to produce a co-authored industry wide playbook for gender portrayal in advertising.

As President of the Marketing Society since 2016, Saller has helped lead an industry agenda on ‘Brave Leadership’ enabling candid discussions on equality, confidence and mental health in business.

In the last year, Saller has led Diageo’s drive for progressive gender portrayal in advertising and together with her executive colleagues, has been instrumental in the company’s work to champion inclusion and diversity through market-leading policies and practices.

Diageo was ranked the number one business globally for gender equality in the Equileap 2019 Gender Equality Report; the number two business globally in the 2019 Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion index; and is one of the 230 companies included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo plc, commented, ‘This is a proud day for Syl and for Diageo. This award is well-deserved recognition for Syl’s leadership and her tireless work to grow our people and our brands. Syl has long been a passionate advocate for equality and I know this honour will encourage her to achieve even more progress on diversity within the creative industries.’

Saller paid tribute to Diageo and industry colleagues, “This honour is testament to the incredible people at Diageo and in the external organisations that I am privileged to work with. I hope that our commitment to creating an environment where people can truly flourish, grow themselves and their businesses while working to accelerate equality makes a real difference to our industry.”